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Even with non-COVID care being avoided, patients are still having trouble making ends meet.
A study done by LendingTree that analyzed personal loans showed that an increasing number of patients were using the money to pay medical expenses at a greater rate than prior to the pandemic.
Here are some of the key findings:
The percentage of personal loan inquiries that were for medical expenses rose 50% in the last full week of 2020 compared to the equivalent week in 2019.
The pandemic has caused many Americans to forgo non-COVID-19 care — especially those who rely on loans and credit cards to make ends meet. According to U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data, 56.5% more Americans who rely on debt to make ends meet skipped non-COVID-19 care than those using the same income sources to meet spending needs as before the crisis.
Some states were impacted more strongly than others when it came to forgoing non-COVID-19 medical care. For example, even though those across the U.S. who skipped medical care were 56.5% more likely to rely on debt than those with their usual income, that figure jumped to 107.5% in Rhode Island, 106.6% in North Dakota and 95.2% in Oklahoma.
At least 5% of personal loan inquiries were for medical expenses in 10 of the last 11 full weeks of 2020. Americans who skipped non-COVID-19 medical care were 56.5% more likely to rely on debt to make ends meet than to have the same income sources as before the pandemic.